I Want to Live!

( 2 )

Overview

Grim, almost unbearably intense, I Want To Live is the story of the life and execution of Barbara Graham Susan Hayward a perjurer, prostitute, liar and drug addict. The product of a broken home, Graham works as a shill, luring gullible men into crooked card games. She attempts to go straight, marries the wrong man, and has a baby. When her life falls apart, she returns to her former profession and is involved in a murder. Despite her claims of innocence, she is convicted and executed. Robert Wise directs the ...
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Overview

Grim, almost unbearably intense, I Want To Live is the story of the life and execution of Barbara Graham Susan Hayward a perjurer, prostitute, liar and drug addict. The product of a broken home, Graham works as a shill, luring gullible men into crooked card games. She attempts to go straight, marries the wrong man, and has a baby. When her life falls apart, she returns to her former profession and is involved in a murder. Despite her claims of innocence, she is convicted and executed. Robert Wise directs the uniformly fine cast with grim efficiency, telling Graham's story in a series of adroitly crafted scenes that won him a well-deserved Academy Award nomination. However, the film belongs to Susan Hayward who gives a intense, shattering performance without one false note. Her performance is so grimly focused that she is, at times, almost unbearable to watch. The final scenes, which lead up to Graham's execution, are exhausting in their emotional intensity as the audience is spared nothing of Graham's agony, despair and desperation when she finally loses the long battle to save her life. Whether one sees Graham as a murderer or a hapless victim of society, the power and relentless, sordid reality of her story leaves an indelible memory in the mind of the viewer.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
I Want to Live! is one of the screen's most powerful films. While Susan Hayward was often inclined to accept melodramatic scripts, nothing in her career tops her Oscar-winning performance as prostitute and con artist Barbara Graham, struggling to avoid execution in California's gas chamber. Graham's real-life struggle was well-known to the audiences of 1958. In lesser hands, a film of this sort could have become exploitative, but Hayward and director Robert Wise know just how far to take the material. The final thirty minutes are paced with an unrelenting intensity. Watch carefully for Hayward's performance in the death chamber scene, as she displays fear, anger, and a desire for whatever dignity there is left to find. All of the film's tech credits are good without being showy -- indeed, had they been more prominent, the film's effect might have been thrown out of balance. This is Hayward's film all the way, and she gives one of the greatest performances of any era.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/13/2007
  • EAN: 4897007031375
  • Original Release: 1958
  • Source: Imports
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 1,749

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susan Hayward Barbara Graham
Simon Oakland Ed Montgomery
Virginia Vincent Peg
Theodore Bikel Carl Palmberg
Wesley Lau Henry Graham
Philip Coolidge Emmett Perkins
Lou Krugman Jack Santo
James Philbrook Bruce King
Bartlett Robinson District Attorney
Gage Clarke Richard Tibrow
Joe de Santis Al Matthews
John Marley Father Devers
Raymond Bailey San Quentin Warden
Alice Backes San Quentin Nurse
Gertrude Flynn San Quentin Matron
Russell Thorson Sergeant
Dabbs Greer San Quentin Captain
Stafford Repp Sergeant
Gavin MacLeod Lieutenant
Art Farmer
Jason Johnson Bixel
Shelly Manne Musician
Gerry Mulligan
Jack Weston NCO
Red Mitchell
Wendell Holmes Detective
Olive Blakeney Corona warden
Peter Breck Ben Miranda
Brett Halsey
Rusty Lane Judge
S. John Launer San Quentin officer
Marion Marshall Rita
George Putnam Himself [uncredited]
Evelyn Scott Personal effects clerk
Dan Sheridan Police broadcaster
Bill Stout Newsman
Lorna Thayer Corona guard
Technical Credits
Robert Wise Director
Victor A. Gangelin Set Decoration/Design
Nelson Gidding Screenwriter
Edward S. Haworth Production Designer
William W. Hornbeck Editor
Fred Lau Sound/Sound Designer
Lionel Lindon Cinematographer
Johnny Mandel Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Don M. Mankiewicz Screenwriter
Lynn Stalmaster Casting
Jack Stone Makeup
Tom Tuttle Makeup
Walter Wanger Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sobering Drama

    Susan Hayward is the exemplary model of the heroine she portrays. In this very dark and sobering film, she artfully characterizes a woman with a past, who continues to associate herself with devious characters and engage in lewd behavior, despite some previous run-ins with the law. Because of her poor judgement and risky behavior, she ends up paying the ultimate price.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews